So last March I saw this great post on Slickdeals about the Sprint BYOD unlimited free plan. It’s not free, but close to it (only taxes need to be paid which works out to be under $4 a month per line). I signed up for it and grabbed a used LG G5 from eBay for around fifty bucks.
The reason I chose this phone is that it has decent specs being a former flagship phone, and great cameras. I also don’t need the marketing hype of the latest and greatest.
The upsides of this phone…
It’s dirt cheap
Support for GCAM (i.e. Google Camera)
Supports powerbear cases
Supports NFC and Google Pay
The downsides of this phone…
Stuck on Sprint
Tons of Sprint bloatware (easily disabled)
Crappy OEM battery (2800 mAh)
No new OEM batteries available
It’s not rootable
No Android updates anymore (Android 7)
But hey for fifty bucks, what do you expect?
So what did I do to make this phone better?
- For starters I disabled all that bloatware.
- I don’t install too many apps.
- I use Blokada to block ads (no need to root it)
- I use the Google camera app. (I am super grateful to the developers who hacked it to work on this device)
- I use the twilight app for blue light filtering.
- I disable features that I don’t use, even Google ones, such as Google Assistant and replace them with Google Go.
- Paired it with a power bear battery (and power bear case) and that solves the crappy battery issue. The downside being that it is a brick now.
That’s pretty much it. Oh there is one Sprint app where you might want to add is the My Sprint Rewards app. Occasionally you get some pretty good stuff from there, like free gifts cards.